Managing Anxiety in Work?

I find it difficult to manage my anxiety most of the time, be it going to the corner shop or getting into bed and suddenly panicking the the door I’ve already checked twice isn’t actual locked. I’ve never found it harder to manage my anxiety than when I’m in work though. It’s easier now that I have a job I actually really adore rather than the temporary jobs that I hated, but it still gets hard so I wanted to share some of the ways that I deal with my anxiety in work so that I can actually do my job rather than melting into a puddle and having a cry.

Listen to how other employees talk

I’m lucky because the people I work with are all creatives and it’s a pretty relaxed work place, but whenever I’ve entered into a new workplace I listen to how the people around me are speaking and apply that to my own use of language. An example of this is that I can comfortably drop the F bomb in work and no one cares, and I knew they wouldn’t because everyone speaks like that. When I did work in supermarkets though I would never have sworn (intentionally) in work because I picked up on the fact that no one else did.

I find that for me, doing this and making sure I’m using similar language to my co-workers makes me feel a bit more self aware and less anxious of saying something wrong or out of place, which I worry about a lot.

Find a space to calm down.

I’m not talking about bunking off or avoiding work here, but having somewhere you can escape to where you’ll most likely be alone and have some peace and quiet has absolutely saved me sometimes in the past. Not too many people come in to where I’m working at the minute, and when they do I get to talk to them about what we do and films and all that stuff so I’m fine. When I did other jobs that involved more people or situations that made me uncomfortable and anxious, having a room in the back that I knew was nearly always empty was sometimes the only thing that stopped me from just leaving.

Of course don’t over do it and sit in the back for your whole shift, but I’m sure no employer will mind too much of you take a couple of minutes out to compose yourself every now and again.

Let someone know

I know that for a lot of us, we don’t want everyone knowing about our anxiety, but making sure your manager or someone similar is aware of your anxiety means you have someone who can make sure you’re doing okay and if you do need a time out or anything you don’t have to explain it to them on the spot while you’re already stressed and anxious.

Keep in mind why you’re doing it

This can be really hard depending on how you feel about your job, believe me I know that!! Even if you have a job you hate though, just keeping in mind how much money I’d have made by the end of my shift or how proud my boyfriend would be of me for getting through it could really keep me going. It’s definitely easier for me now I have a job I like and can think about how lucky I am to have a job like this, but we’ve all had jobs that we hate and money is money, if that’s what gets you through it then that’s fine!

Don’t be afraid to seek help

Whether that means seeing a doctor for medication, going to therapy or just being more open with friends, everything is easier with some support. If your anxiety is affecting you in a way that makes it difficult for you to work or live your life the way you want to you should seek help, and you should never be embarrassed or ashamed for doing so.

I hope this might help someone out a bit, and any tip anyone else has would be much appreciated! I may like my job now but that definitely doesn’t get rid of anxiety!

-Dana


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